For six days I was a long away from home on something of an adventure for littles and middles in Southern England that for me started with visiting two friends by train where I changed into my green pleated skirt and had to help out by doing things like popping pea pods which wasn't something with my co-ordination I was exactly good at, being more mediocre at best.
We had pork chops and vegetables followed by home grown rhubarb and ice cream between talking among ourselves and listening to some music.
On the Saturday when the event proper was to start, after breakfast we collected some of the food we were taking with us as well as other things like games equipment, a chalk board and our own cases to travel for a good number of hours starting out from South Staffordshire but because of traffic and Spaghetti Junction (J 6) on the M6 motorway was closed we took a different route through Tipton that left Susan convinced for a period we weren't going in the right direction although we could see Wednesbury parish church and Wednesbury is directly connected to the motorway.
I travelled down in my black pinafore dress (tunic) with "Junior Prefect" badge on, white blouse, tie and grey socks.
The journey down was fairly smooth apart from some delays and diversions around of Huntingdon (Hunts) and Cambridge that did delay us a bit before one of our group needed to talk with the venue owner before we unloaded the car.
As quite some time had elapsed since we ate after taking stuff to our rooms and the equipment to where it was needed we had a pork pie and some salad as everyone else arrived some twenty-one people in total, introduced themselves.
Soon it was time for our first evening meal and while most people ordered Indian cuisine, Susan and Jennifer prepped the vegetables cooking together with the pie for ours although I did scrape the potatoes and kept an eye on the vegetables.
As it was very warm we ate outside on an outdoor wooden table facing the garden.
This time my assigned duty on the chore list was to set everything for breakfast in the morning although I did help out with a few other things too.
One thing did quite a bit of between other activities was colouring my Frozen colouring book as I could start and resume working a page with my Staetdler pencils in addition to having fun playing with Sylvanian Families.
The theme of our get together was The Sea so many of the activities related to it.
On the Sunday I tried using a tricycle which was fun as I haven't the balance to use a bicycle but found I needed assistance as I couldn't get it started by myself lacking the strength to turn the peddles around. It was a enjoyable experience to go around the field in it though.
In the morning we worked as a team on making a Pirate Ship from cardboard pinned with plastic pins (Makedo) and other bits decorated and cut out to make sails, steering wheel and big branches for oars and so on which came together well give there wasn't a formal blue print or similar to go by, pretty much deciding as went along how it was to look.
We even had a message in a bottle!
I think it did help get people to co-operate apart from being fun.
In the afternoon, Jennifer had a painting class with people painting things that reminded them about the Sea and what it means to them.
I painted a picture "Jo at the Beach" showing a child Jo looking on admiring her sand castle and bucket and spade in the summer, having done the outlines in pencil.
The completed pictures were displayed and the best one chosen.
After a scrumptious chicken evening meal, we had a mainly 80's music quiz where you had to guess from twenty fifteen second the artist (or group) and the track from each with people in teams.
The team I was with, the "Radioactive Cats" comprising of Fudge, Kelly and I scored thirty-five out of a possible forty-two and so won it comfortably.
Because the weather looked a bit poor for later on we decided to move the Girl Olympics to the Monday morning.
We had a variety of events such as a relay race, filling the water bucket event, archery which I was rubbish at and an Egg and aSpoon race except golf balls substituted for hard boiled eggs.
Get set to go, Jo!
With my disabilities anything like this is very hard going from following instructions to actually having the strength to take part and most of my childhood school games were wheelchair based but I enjoyed it and probably learnt something about the importance of taking an active part having the support of your team rather than just deeking out of it.
After a salad lunch, we had a 60th birthday anniversary party for Linda's dolly, Sally, where we had cake and tea feeding our dolls which was something I quite enjoyed not least for being in something very much in little headspace.
I and an other snucked out to a deserted recreational ground where I went on a slide with help cos I couldn't climb on to it with the physical side of my disabilities, swung from a swing feeling the breeze caressing me in my pink gingham dress and played on a see-saw feeling very much middle/little..
Upon our return it was time for the arts and crafts session so being a bit exhausted but as high as kite, I did a load of colouring in felt tip pen which is different cos I usually colour in pencil from the colouring in sheets provided although you could do oil painting, bead work and chain making if you wanted and others did.
The classroom is never far from my thoughts as a middle.
We ordered fish and chips with a few exceptions and Samantha and Becky drove down to pay and collect our order which was very yummy.
In the evening we had a disco where the resident Cat Girl danced to The Cure's Love Cats and M's Pop Music with Sammy as well as Auntie C a bit as this was the one night I was in bed a bit later than normal. I grew up, allegedly, dancing in a wheelchair which is much easier for me but it was very enjoyable to sway about with friends who understand how hard it it can be.
Tuesday saw Sammy take on the persona of Miss Take delivering a fun but effective lesson about Sea Monsters different ones and their characteristics ending with drawing a Sea Monster of your own so I drew a Kelpie in Northern Scotland.
After lunch, Alice did a Sea based Treasure Hunt with a twist, the twist being a making three minute scripted video of "Little Pirates of the Carribean and the Curse of the Plastic Pearls", a adventure on the high seas involving plastic pearls with several of us having acting and spoken parts around our home made Pirate Ship of which one was with a Scottish accent, one Canadian and one American which was hilarious.
Perhaps it was near Greenland?
Jennifer and Susan cooked a Meat Pie and vegetable tea with help in scraping potatoes which was followed by cheese cake.
In the evening Daisy played guitar and sang Streets of London, Romeo and Juliet, The Boxer plus Donovan's Universal Soldier pretty well and we presented a birthday card and shared cake for a friend whose birthday was in a few days time.
Jennifer read a Tale from the Farmyard out about Scarecrows and why they help farmers in her strong Black Country accent with Southern English translation provided by Susan.
Having lived in the Midlands now for over fifteen years I didn't need it!
The Wednesday was more a last minute play, hug and leave half day as people needed to leave at different times with one having to travel to the United States too with a group of us having a buffet lunch of left overs before setting off to South Staffordshire where I had a much appreciated overnight stay before catching my train home here in the North-west Midlands and taking a taxi straight home.
I would like to thank Jennifer and Susan for organizing a dead kewl camp, putting together the program and bringing quite a bit of the sports equipment together with the food plus Alice, Daisy, Debbie, Linda, Mr Paul, Sammy and Suzy for their activities